If you get notified that you have some Errors or Warnings in Google Search Console from the Schema output by your Create cards, you might immediately start to worry. However, it’s usually a really easy fix!
It’s important to keep in mind that Errors and Warnings in GSC are two different things. Errors are emergent and in need of fixing, and Warnings are more like suggestions. If you get a notice from GSC of this nature, then, make sure you look out for which of the two you actually have. This will tell you how much you actually need to worry.
For detailed info on what Errors and Warnings are, when they are more serious and when not to panic, check out this blog post!
Common Warnings (Don’t Panic)
Either ‘image’ or ‘video’ should be specified - a really common warning from How-To Schema, you’re getting this because Google would like to see a video or image for each step in your instructions. You can get rid of the warning by adding those images or videos into the steps, if you have them.
Missing Field “Video” - Google requests video Schema output from within your Recipe card. If you have a relevant video for the recipe, add it to the card.
Missing Field “aggregateRating” - All you need is at least one star rating in your Recipe card.
Other “Missing Field” warnings - You may also get a warning for missing information like “keywords”, “recipeCuisine”, or “cookTime". All you need to do is go back in to edit your Create card, find that field, and fill it in.
Common Errors (Fix ASAP)
Invalid Object Type for Field “Step” or “At least two values are expected for step field” - You’ll usually get errors like these if you don’t have more than one step listed in your How-To card, or if your stepped instructions aren’t formatted correctly. As long as you have at least two steps, try going back in to your Create card and hitting “Optimize” in the Instructions section to force things into listed format.
A lot of Errors associated with your Create card Schema output will be related to required fields within the card that are left unfilled. You might get an Error for missing Title or Ingredients, for example. You just need to go back in to edit your card, find the corresponding field, and add something there.
If it looks like you’ve already filled in all the right info but you’re still getting a Warning or Error, try validating the fix in GSC. Oftentimes, that will solve it.
You can also look to see how things are looking in Google’s Rich Result test to make sure you’ve cleared up all the errors/warnings you may be seeing.
How to Use Rich Results Test to See Errors/Warnings:
First, what are Rich Results? Rich results are experiences on Google, such as Search, that go beyond the standard search results. Rich results can include carousels, images, or other non-textual elements.
Why Do Rich Results matter? You want to give Google all of the information that it asks for. Using the Rich Results test, you can check out individual posts to see what information you might be missing. It’s a great way to dial in instead of getting overwhelmed with everything in GSC!
It’s important to note that, just because you are eligible for Rich Results, does not necessarily mean your post will appear in Rich Results - It is ultimately up to Google to decide.
Here's how to run a post through the Rich Results Test:
1 - Identify the post you want to test
2 - Input the URL of the post in the Rich Results Test
3 - You’ll get a report of all structured data on the post - navigate to the data type you are looking to investigate (Recipe or How-To, typically).
4 - From there, you’ll see the things Google is flagging as a warning or error.
If you’re still having trouble or if you have a Warning/Error that isn’t listed here and you’d like some guidance, we suggest looking at Schema.org for more direction. For more detailed information, click below.